With the holiday season fast approaching, a high-risk situation can be presented for some due to increased availability of high calorie-dense food consumption, increased deadlines, and neglect of exercise behaviours. Studies demonstrate that over the holiday period, weight increases can occur in those who are overweight or obese as this population is more susceptible to this high-risk situation.
Combatting this neglect
To combat this, it would be a good idea to plan ahead to avoid weight fluctuations as well as not losing those hard-earned gains (weight-bearing capacity, strength, muscle mass, cardiorespiratory fitness, decreased fatigue, improved flexibility) you’ve created in the clinic or gym. Why should the month of December be any different to any of the other 11 in terms of fitting in exercise? One way of planning ahead would be to start logging down exercise times (sessions per week, session length) through the month of November or perhaps recall what you’ve done if it’s already hit December.
Through the month of December, performing your exercise sessions doesn’t have to be the exact same time on the exact same days that you would usually do, but rather the same amount as you did in November. In this way, you’re still hitting the same total amount of minutes you would usually do but only working it around your Christmas schedule.
We do not need to miss our movement therapy sessions just because we believe it is out of the question to do our usual routine. It’s all about the big picture! For example, if you go the gym/clinic on Tuesday, Thursday (eek! late night Christmas shopping!), and Saturday from 7-8pm, that is 3 x 1 hour sessions equalling a total of 3 hours. This amount of time can be distributed elsewhere throughout the week in different forms such 6 sessions of short 30-minute sessions, or even 2 lots of 1.5 hour sessions on any day at any time. By planning ahead, we can ensure our total weekly exercise time is not compromised, thereby promoting strong holiday exercise behaviour and maintaining the momentum of progress we’ve achieved up to and through jolly December.